Why not buy a new cell phone every year

Holidays are coming and you are thinking of getting the latest iPhone? The new Sumsung Galaxy? Maybe it's better to hold on and wait a little longer, for the sake of your pocket.

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Smartphones have come a long way in the last decade and have evolved to the point where even a two-year-old model is still satisfactory to most people. If you have a one year old phone in your hands there is no particular need to replace it with a newer one.

Unless you have a lot of money or you are eccentric with anything new. But if you do not have cash to throw away or your current phone is not damaged and is not repaired, then you do not have many reasons to buy a new one. This applies to whether you own an iPhone or an Android device.

Read five reasons why you do not need to upgrade your smartphone every year.

1. Smartphones are getting small improvements now

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In the early days of smartphones, we saw significant feature upgrades every year. Larger and higher resolution screens, high camera upgrades, remarkable speed improvements and so on.

Smartphones today have almost all of these latest features and the changes per model are not really noticeable in real use. Manufacturers continue to claim that they have improved the cameras, but the final image often does not look so different from the outgoing model.

Most mid-range and high-tech smartphones today take good photos and videos. To really notice the small differences between a great smartphone camera and a good one, you need a sharp eye that discerns the detail. The hardware of the smartphones has progressed to the point that any changes added by the manufacturers, seem at best a small increase and not a radical upgrade.

Wireless technologies like 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are nice to have on a smartphone, but they are not a necessity. Of course, you would see a crazy difference in speeds if you ran a 5G speed test in your city center, but in practical scenarios like watching a video in your living room, you will have a hard time noticing the LTE speed improvements .

2. Your smartphone battery is fine for at least two years

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Lithium-ion batteries used in smartphones are known to wear out over time, but that does not mean you have to change your phone just because it is one year old.

In the vast majority of cases, your smartphone battery will perform at its optimum level for at least two years after purchase. And if he does not, you may need to change your approach when charging your device.

The new phones manage, on average, to maintain 80% of the maximum capacity of the battery after two years of use. This means that if your device has been rated for 10 hours of battery life, you will still have about nine hours on a full charge when it is one year old. Therefore, it is not as bad as you think.

However, if this extra time is important to you, you can replace the battery by paying an amount that ranges between € 40 and € 80, depending on the phone you have. Why pay hundreds (or even thousands!) Of a new phone for just a few battery improvements?

3. Your smartphone may receive software updates for many years

If you purchased a high-tech smartphone, chances are your device will receive software updates for at least two years. When it comes to an Android smartphone, this varies depending on the manufacturer's update policy. Popular brands like Samsung and Xiaomi promise two or three Android OS updates along with an extra year of security updates.

Especially for iPhones, no company keeps up with Apple when it comes to software updates. IPhones receive operating system updates for many years after their release. Apple does not give an exact number, but it is about five to six years in most cases.

A typical example would be the iPhone 6S, which was released in 2015 with iOS 9 pre-installed. Six years later, the iPhone 6S officially supports iOS 15, which will enter its seventh year of support, by 2022.

Therefore, if you plan to upgrade your smartphone to get some software features, keep in mind that your current phone is likely to receive the same features through the software update. You do not need to buy the latest and greatest model every time a new version of Android or iOS is released.

4. You do not get the value of your money

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Remember the days when top smartphones were sold for 600-700 euros? Well, those days are long gone. In recent years, the prices of smartphones have risen considerably, opening a gap between the middle and top phones. Now, there is a whole new category of top smartphones that cost over 1.000 euros. Manufacturers describe these phones as their flagships.

To put things in perspective, the iPhone 6 Plus, which was the top iPhone with the highest quality of its time, was priced at around 700 euros, unlocked. Seven years later with the same money you can not buy even the cheapest model in the iPhone 13 series (the iPhone 13 mini that costs 850 euros). To receive the best Apple offers today, you will need to pay € 1.350 for the iPhone 13 Pro Max, with basic storage.

Now, ask yourself if it's worth spending money every year on a new smartphone, when all you get are small hardware upgrades that you probably won't notice in the real world. Your answer would be different if you currently have a mid-range smartphone, but if you already have last year's top model, you are fine for at least another year.

If you do not sell your current phone at a good price, you will definitely not save your money by upgrading to the latest flagship.

5. You will not notice performance differences

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Manufacturers like to be proud of their hardware specifications, but smartphones have gotten to the point where RAM and processor performance are not as important as they used to be. If you are not a maniac who does a lot of work at the same time, you will definitely not notice the difference between a phone with 8 GB RAM and a phone with 12 GB RAM.

Smartphone processors also improve every year in terms of performance and speed, but in reality, the difference in performance is invisible when you use them as a regular user. If you got a high-tech phone last year, you already have a stable processor to handle almost any job for the next two years. Therefore, do not be persuaded by the numbers that the manufacturers give you.

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Annual smartphone upgrades are a luxury, not a necessity

Regardless of the smartphone you buy, the way manufacturers advertise their products will make you feel that your current smartphone is already outdated. However, in the vast majority of cases, you do not need this upgrade. Companies just do their marketing to sell.

The upgrade is justified if you currently have a low to mid-range smartphone, and you want to upgrade. But if you do not want to change category, you do not have to buy the latest flagship in your category if you have a one year old phone.

Buying a new phone every two years is a conversation that has to do with the personal scales of the pros and cons of each user. The upgrade every three years is the usual, at least for Greek users with average income.

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